There are many advantages to shooting with a fixed focal length camera. The manufacturer can optimize the relationship between the lens and sensor, you don't have to worry about dust getting on the chip, and more often than not, there's an economy of scale as well.
What you don't get, however, is the variety of framing options that is enjoyed with a zoom lens. Or do you? That depends on how you feel about the digital teleconverter function. I've been testing this feature on a brand new Fujifilm XF10 compact digital camera ($499).
The camera captures natively at an equivalent 28mm focal length. But it does include a digital teleconverter that allows the user to frame at 35mm and 50mm perspectives while retaining the same pixel dimensions (6000 x 4000). What a great convenience! But is it any good? Let's take a look.
If you download the images and magnify, you can see some differences. But at normal viewing size, it's really hard to tell what is native and what is digitally enhanced.
File size differences provide more clues to what you actually get. The 28mm image is 6.1 MBs, the 35mm version is 5.7 MBs, and the 50mm version is 4.9 MBs. BTW: All three files were captured in Jpeg Fine mode. The Digital Teleconverter does not work in RAW.
So what's the verdict? I guess that depends on your tolerance level. For me, unless it's critical use, I'm fine with the Digital Teleconverter on this camera. It provides additional framing options with a minimal penalty.
I'm curious to see what you think once you download and examine the files for yourself. You can comment on our TDS Facebook page, where I'll post this story for discussion.
The 9-ounce, 24 MP, APS-C Fujifilm XF10 compact digital camera is available from B&H Photo in two colors for $499. I think it's a steal.